When it comes to reform of the San Jacinto River Authority and the County government, citizens must send a message in the contested Republican Precinct 35 Chair race; The Golden Hammer endorses reform candidate Bouche over the establishment’s Rummell

When it comes to reform of the San Jacinto River Authority and the County government, citizens must send a message in the contested Republican Precinct 35 Chair race; The Golden Hammer endorses reform candidate Bouche over the establishment’s Rummell

Image: Insurance broker Jon Bouche (center) with his family. Bouche is running for Republican Precinct Chair in Precinct 35, which is a portion of Oak Ridge North against Marisa Rummell. It’s a critical race, because Rummell failed to support the resolution cuts in County government spending, adoption of the 20% homestead exemption for County property taxes, and increased funding for law enforcement. As a Board member of the San Jacinto River Authority, Rummell consistently voted to continue SJRA’s failure “to provide flood control” in violation of its statutory duty.

Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer

Oak Ridge North, February 7 – Although the race for a Republican Precinct Chair is minor, one Republican Precinct Chair, Marissa Rummell can claim to have the worst voting record of anyone in all of Montgomery County:

  • She voted against the San Jacinto River Authority providing flood control, as its statutory duty requires;
  • She voted against lower property taxes;
  • She voted against the 20% homestead exemption;
  • She voted in favor of SJRA’s actions to monopolize water sales and raise residential water prices across Montgomery County;
  • She voted against reduced government spending;
  • She voted against increased law enforcement spending; and
  • She opposed a proposal to require voter approval for new tollroads.

It doesn’t get worse than that.

The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, endorses Jon Bouche for Republican Precinct 35 Chair against Marisa Rummell. Bouche is a super guy. Rummell is a nice lady but her voting record both as a San Jacinto River Authority Board member and as a Republican Precinct Chair is abysmal. She votes against reform and for the political establishment at every turn.

Voting Precinct 35 needs a new Chair and Bouche has become an important conservative leader within the Montgomery County Republican Party.

Rummell’s terrible voting record

Rummell has a terrible voting record in at least three major instances.

First and foremost, Rummell served on the Board of Directors of the San Jacinto River Authority from April 16, 2004, through May 31, 2016, precisely the time period when SJRA should have focused on providing flood control, its primary statutory duty under its enabling statute, but instead focused on monopolizing retail water sales and driving the price of residential water up. If homeowners in Montgomery County suffer from high water bills, Rummell is one of the primary people to whom they should look to blame. If homeowners in Montgomery County lost their homes due to the terrible flood control planning during Tropical Storm Harvey (August-September, 2017), the Tax Day Flood of 2016, or the Memorial Day Flood of 2016, Rummell is one of the primary people to whom they should look to blame.

SJRA’s Executive Director Jace Houston admitted before the Senate Agriculture Committee in a hearing on October 16, 2107, that SJRA has the authority to provide flood control and admitted “one option to provide flood control [in Montgomery County] is for the River Authority to do it. We don’t provide flood control now, because we have the power but not the duty to do that.”

SJRA’s enabling statute makes clear that it is SJRA’s responsibility to provide flood control within the entire watershed of the San Jacinto River, which includes all of Montgomery County. SJRA simply has chosen not to fulfill its duty. Rummell was a Board member who went along with those decisions every step of the way during her 12 years on the Board.

State Senator Brandon Creighton, Republican of Conroe, responded, “I’m embarrassed that the public has to hear that answer.”

SJRA’s Houston tried to argue that no governmental entity has the power to do debris cleaning and desnagging from rivers and tributaries, although he eventually conceded those powers are within SJRA’s enabling mandate which the Legislature passed in 1937. Houston also tried to deflect the responsibility for flood control to a regional authority rather than to SJRA. “Regional is better,” Houston told the Committee.

Enabling legislation giving SJRA responsibility for flood control in the entire San Jacinto River Basin. The San Jacinto River Basin encompasses all of Montgomery County plus additional areas. Source: San Jacinto River Authority.

Houston then played an accounting trick on Creighton and then Committee when Creighton asked, “How much cash do you have in reserves?”

Houston answered, “I don’t know…less than $10 million.” In actuality, SJRA’s most recent audited financial statement shows that SJRA has more than $54.7 million in unencumbered cash. It’s possible that SJRA has set aside a large chunk of its cash for defense of lawsuit arising from SJRA’s conscious flooding of several thousand homes downstream of the Lake Conroe Dam.

During that same time period of 12 years, while Rummell was on the SJRA Board, SJRA worked closely with the Lone Star Ground Water Conservation District (LSGCD) to restrict, through government regulation, the use and sale of groundwater. Private individuals suffered restrictions of groundwater on their private property, as did homeowners associations, real estate developers, utility companies, groundwater producers, and many others.

How did LSGCD’s regulations help SJRA sell water? Because when groundwater producers such as utility companies and municipalities suffered groundwater use restrictions, end users had no choice but to turn to the largest surface water seller in the region, SJRA. SJRA has successfully caused water prices to skyrocket. If homeowners suffer massive water bills, Rummell’s willingness to go along with these terrible monopolistic decisions is a major cause.

On two major occasions, Rummell failed to vote as a Republican Precinct Chair in the Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee for pro-taxpayer, pro-reform resolutions. On February 28, 2017, the Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee voted decisively to endorse a proposal to cut significantly County spending overall, to adopt a 20% homestead exemption for County property taxes, and to increase funding for the law enforcement departments within the County government.

Republican Precinct 50 Chairman Reagan Reed authored and proposed the resolution at the meeting Tuesday night, February 28, 2017. The resolution passed by a decisive margin of 21 to 10. Rummell failed to vote in favor of reducing County government spending, cutting property taxes, providing a homestead exemption, and increasing law enforcement funding.

On August 15, 2017, in a stunning turn of developments, the County Republican Executive Committee of the Montgomery County Republican Party voted overwhelmingly – 34 to 1 – to call for placement on the ballot of a proposition that would urge that “no governmental entity should ever construct or fund the construction of toll roads, unless its voters have approved each road by referendum.”

The County Party “establishment” fiercely resisted permitting the vote, but the conservative reformers on the Executive Committee overcame their opposition with brilliant parliamentary tactics. In a procedural vote, the reformers were able to move forward. The photograph immediately below shows Rummell (in white shirt) sitting on the front row voting against the vast majority in the Executive Committee who voted against tollroads.

Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee, August 15, 2017, during procedural vote to permit anti-tollroads resolution to proceed. Marisa Rummell, sitting on front row in white shirt, is shown voting against the conservatives and in favor of tollroads.

 

Before the final vote, Rummell left the meeting when the conservatives prevailed on a 34 to 1 vote in favor of the resolution. Woodlands GOP Precinct Chairman and Area Chairman Paul Gebolys, known for his quiet and thoughtful demeanor, authored the resolution and presented the motions in the most gentle of manners.

Gebolys’ Proposed Language for Ballot Proposition: “No governmental entity should ever construct or fund the construction of toll roads, unless its voters have approved each road by referendum.”

Who is Jon Bouche?

Bouche and his wife Jeannine raised our three children, Cody, Kyle and Carly, in Oak Ridge North and have lived here in Montgomery County for the last 13 years. 

He graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1990 with a BA in Law Enforcement and Police Science.  Bouche has run a small, independent insurance agency and also works as a real estate agent in The Woodlands area. 

In addition to his businesses, Bouche serves on the boards of a couple of local non-profit organizations.  Bouche is one of the founders and current Chairman of the Lone Star Christian Chamber of Commerce and also a founder and the current Vice President of Love Street Alliance which is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to bring the healing power of music to children and families receiving care in local hospitals.

Bouche’s band “Johnny and the Spinsations” plays many events all over Texas. Perhaps, Gregory Parker and Brian Dawson should consider joining Bouche’s band and playing for the Magnolia Independent School District and senior living centers with the logos of Parker’s and Dawson’s campaigns on the bass drum.




Bouche and his wife are members and volunteers at WoodsEdge Community Church. 

Bouche told The Golden Hammer, “I have been actively involved in local politics for several years and I am now running for office because I believe that I can be of service to my community.  I have joined the fight against wasteful spending, nepotism, cronyism, corruption and an onerous tax system which only exists to support a bloated and ever expanding out of control government.  I am proud to stand alongside other reformers here in Montgomery County as we endeavor to cram our government back into the United States Constitution. We are in for a long fight.”

Bouche opposes Rummell in Republican Precinct 35 in the March 6, 201so I am asking for the people of Montgomery County Precinct #35 to stand with me in this fight and cast their vote for me on 8, Republican Primary Election.

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